Different kinds of panda

Edinburgh Zoo is just about to take delivery of two giant pandas, on loan from China. I’ve read that they are having to source bamboo by buying it in from somewhere else in Europe, although they are growing some of their own too – and have been for a while, as I’ve noticed during recent visits there.

The trials and tribulations of maintaining my Fiat Panda have made me think perhaps it would be cheaper and less hassle to keep one of the giant black and white variety in my garden than it is to keep the Fiat on the road. It seems to eat spark plugs at approximately the same rate that the giant pandas eat bamboo, and then of course there are the parts with built-in obsolescence such as the timing belt. I’m sure giant pandas don’t have one of these. Then there are the shock absorbers, which apparently are now in such a state that *if* there’s a pot-hole in the road they will fall apart. Ha ha ha! The roads in Edinburgh these days consist of a series of pot-holes joined together tenuously by small patches of tarmac. Anyway, I am determined to get the car into a good state of repair before the winter, which should be arriving any day now. After all, I wouldn’t want the timing belt to fail while it’s sitting in the car park behind our house because the snow is too deep to drive it, would I?

I didn’t intend to write a rant about my car today, but it’s probably a sign of my general stress levels that I feel like this about it! Not that I am depressed or upset – actually, I’m enjoying all the things I’ve been doing, it’s just that there are too many of them to fit into the time, and my energy doesn’t seem able to keep up either. Maybe I should try and take a whole month off work next November in order to miss the sudden surges of professional activity that tend to happen this month, and to concentrate on NaNoWrimo instead.

I’ve managed to keep myself to 2,000 words a day this week after starting off much too fast and probably writing a lot of nonsense in the process. What if I ended up with a novel that was all padding and no plot? I am slightly worried about that anyway, since I haven’t been telling my characters what’s going on, and halfway through the novel they are still blundering around in the dark. Not sure yet if that will work. At least I have resisted the temptation to include a broken-down car in the storyline!

Weather here today: cold but bright after a damp start. If it stays like this I may have to go for a walk on the beach instead of joining a NaNo gathering in a cafe in town.


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